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3 Exciting Degrees That Could Kickoff Your Career In The Soccer Business

Loving watching Bellingham and Mbappe at the European Championships and want to find out how you can get involved in the soccer business? Here are three exciting degree options to consider

Mon Jul 8 2024

As we enter the final week of the 2024 European Championship—the flagship UEFA soccer competition currently taking place in Germany—you may find that the recent slew of televised games has left you feeling inspired. 

Spending the last three weeks watching the continent’s best players battle for highly coveted ‘Euros’ glory may have motivated you to join a local soccer team or go out and buy some goal posts for the back garden. You may even be planning out your own path to becoming a professional soccer player.  

Of course, not everyone can become a professional sportsperson. If it feels like that ship has sailed, there are other ways you can get involved in the world of elite soccer.

Alongside being the world’s most popular sport, soccer is also a highly commercial global ecosystem. International clubs operate as publicly traded companies, and player transfer deals amounting to tens of millions of dollars take place on a regular basis. 

So, if you’re wondering how you can launch a career in the soccer business, here are three highly specialized degree options to consider. 

3 Degrees For A Career In The Soccer Business

1. University of Liverpool Management School, Football Industries MBA (FIMBA) 

Billed as the original MBA program dedicated to teaching the commercial side of soccer, the FIMBA is taught in Liverpool, a historic city in the North West of England that’s home to two storied clubs which play in the English Premier League. 

But while the players at Everton FC and Liverpool FC are known for their exploits on the pitch, the FIMBA teaches students how to navigate the complex world of being a soccer executive. 

Modules focus on core management principles including strategy, organizational culture, innovation, entrepreneurship, finance, and leadership. Courses are taught with a focus on how these fundamental business areas are manifest in the world of soccer. 

After completing the 12-month full-time curriculum, students graduate with a comprehensive grasp of finance, law, and management. Many go on to launch careers with leading clubs, associations, and sponsors within the soccer business; the school lists alumni destinations including FC Bayern Munich, UEFA, Adidas, Asian Football, and Manchester City FC. 

2. Real Madrid Graduate School Universidad Europea, Master in Sports Management 

This year saw Real Madrid CF win the world’s most prestigious club soccer competition, the UEFA Champions League, for a record 15th time. The club is home to some of the world’s most famous players, several of whom—including superstar signings of the past two-years, Kylian Mbappe and Jude Bellingham—will play in the European Championship semi-finals this week. 

But Real Madrid are also invested in soccer off the pitch, offering those interested in pursuing careers in the soccer business the chance to undertake a nine-month master’s degree in sports management. 

The program teaches core areas such as marketing and communication, management skills, and economics. The innovative degree leverages its unique position to provide students with access to leading Real Madrid staff and directors. Teaching is also delivered by professors from Universidad Europea. 

Emphasizing a practical approach, the Master’s in Sports Management requires students to complete an internship as part of the curriculum, while extracurricular internships are also encouraged. 

Graduates go on to launch careers within soccer, as well as further afield in other sporting environments. Listed alumni destinations include the International Paralympic Committee, Under Armour, and the NBA (National Basketball Association). 

Admissions to the Master’s in Sports Management take place on a rolling basis throughout the year, though successful enrollment depends on the number of positions available. 

3. International Center For Sports Studies (CIES), FIFA Master - International Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport

While UEFA is the governing body of European soccer, FIFA is the organization that runs the world game. 

The association is notably the organizer of the FIFA World Cup, which takes place every four years and is the most prestigious of all international soccer tournaments. As such, the FIFA Master is among the best degree programs to enroll in if you’re seeking a career in the business of soccer. 

Offered through a collaboration between three European educational institutions—De Montfort University in Leicester, SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan and the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland—the FIFA Master teaches at the intersection between management, law, and humanities within sports. 

As well as teaching key concepts and theories in these key areas, the 10-month curriculum is bolstered by regular practical sessions with top executives and athletes. Students also get to spend four-months at De Montfort, before heading off to study for three-month periods at both SDA Bocconi and Universitè de Neuchatel.

This international exposure, paired with the well-regarded brand associated with the degree, ensures that students go on to successful careers. Previous employers include both those within soccer and top organizations from other sports, including FIFA, UEFA, the International Olympic Committee, and Formula 1. 

So, you don’t need to be Mbappe to be able to call soccer a career path, an MBA or Master's might just do the trick.